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JUCO Top 50 Teams: May 14

Juco : : Rankings
Allan Simpson        
Published: Wednesday, May 15, 2013

String of Upsets Continue
To Mark Post-Season Play

First it was Central Arizona, Perfect Game’s top-ranked junior-college team at the outset of the 2013 season, which bit the dust, losing two straight games in the opening round of the Arizona state playoffs. Next came Miami-Dade, PG’s No. 1 team for three weeks running leading up to post-season play, that fell hard, losing both its games at the Florida junior-college tournament.

Led by the sudden demise of two of the nation’s top teams, upsets have been the order of the day as teams around the country continue to make headway towards participation in this year’s Junior College World Series—and various other championships at the national and state levels.

Four teams have already punched their ticket to the National Junior College Athletic Association Division I championship, including Texas’ Navarro Junior College, the new No. 1 team in PG’s weekly ranking of the nation’s Top 50 junior-college teams. The Bulldogs (43-15) won four hard-fought games in the NJCAA Southern District tournament to secure its spot in the 10-team tournament, set for Grand Junction, Colo., from May 25-June.

The most noteworthy string of upsets occurred in Florida, at the recently-completed Gulf District tournament (effectively, the Florida state JC tournament) as both of the nation’s top two teams, No. 1 Miami-Dade and No. 2 Tallahassee, tasted defeat in rapid order. Miami-Dade (35-10), which had not played in some three weeks prior to participating in the tournament, lost both its games in the double-elimination event, while Tallahassee (46-10) managed just a single win.

Upstart Palm Beach State (38-19), which finished six games behind Miami-Dade in conference play this spring, was an upset winner of the Florida tournament, and earned a berth in the Junior College World Series while going undefeated. The Panthers got a pair of complete-game wins from ace righthander J.D. Underwood, one of the top prospects in the junior-college ranks for this year’s draft, in subduing St. Johns River 4-2 in their opening-round game, and shutting out previous No. 3-ranked State College of Florida-Manatee, 3-0, in the championship game five days later.

Upsets abound in numerous other qualifying tournaments, leading to a significant shakeup in PG’s latest Top 50. Of the top 10 teams from the most-recent ranking, seven tasted defeat over the last week and have been eliminated from further competition.

In addition to Navarro and Palm Beach State, Neosho County (Kan.) and Midland (Texas) have also earned berths in the Junior College World Series. The remaining six teams will be determined by this weekend.

Santa Rosa College, the new No. 2-ranked team, survived Super Regional play in California last weekend, and will participate in the state Final Four in Fresno, beginning Friday. California junior colleges are not members of the NJCAA.

Additionally, No. 4 LSU-Eunice (44-8) begins its quest for a second straight NJCAA Division II title by participating in district play this weekend, while No. 26 Gloucester County (45-3) of New Jersey, the highest-ranked team in Division III, secured a berth in the NJCAA D-III World Series by winning its qualifying event. The D-II World Series is set to begin in Enid, Okla., May 25, and the D-III series in Tyler, Texas, on the same day.

RK Prev. Team State Record
1 5 Navarro TX 43-15
2 4 Santa Rosa CA 33-7
3 13 Connors State OK 49-9
4 7 LSU-Eunice LA 45-8
5 23 Midland TX 47-13
6 20 Cochise AZ 46-16
7 12 Fullerton CA 30-13
8 16 Delgado LA 46-9
9 3 #State College of Florida-Manatee FL 45-13
10 17 Spartanburg Methodist SC 42-13
11 11 Iowa Western IA 44-12
12 1 #Miami-Dade FL 35-10
13 2 #Tallahassee FL 46-10
14 6 #Crowder MO 47-13
15 26 #Central Arizona AZ 43-15
16 8 #Cowley County KS 45-11
17 9 #Sierra CA 33-9
18 10 #New Mexico NM 44-15
19 19 Everett WA 34-7
20 21 Walters State TN 35-16
21 22 Georgia Perimeter GA 36-17
22 14 #Faulkner State AL 41-11
23 32 Middle Georgia GA 39-13
24 NR Palm Beach State FL 38-19
25 18 #Grayson County TX 40-18
26 37 Gloucester County NJ 45-3
27 NR  Western Nevada NV 40-17
28 43 Heartland IL 41-9
29 15 #Southern Nevada NV 40-17
30 NR Kaskaskia IL 36-10
31 50 Southern Union State AL 42-15
32 34 #Seminole State FL 36-14
33 NR  Northeastern CO 40-19
34 29 #Wabash Valley IL 44-14
35 NR  Feather River CA 29-12
36 44 #Alvin TX 38-22
37 NR  Cypress CA 29-14
38 48 #Chipola FL 38-21
39 28 #Lamar CO 40-19
40 NR  Potomac State WV 38-14
41 24 #Chattahoochee Valley AL 42-12
42 27 #St. Johns River FL 38-18
43 47 Scottsdale AZ 38-19
44 30 #Palomar CA 29-14
45 31 #Jefferson MO 36-16
46 33 #Salt Lake UT 35-19
47 36 #Seminole State OK 38-19
48 38 #San Jacinto TX 35-21
49 42 #Cisco TX 40-15
50 NR Central Alabama AL 37-13

Dropped out: No. 25 Des Moines Area, Iowa (44-11); No. 35 Fresno, Calif. (28-12); No. 39 Western Oklahoma State (41-13); No. 40 Louisburg, N.C. (34-14); No. 41 South Mountain, Ariz. (39-22); No. 45 Mt. San Antonio, Calif. (30-13); No. 46 Darton State, Ga. (42-14); No. 49 Glendale, Calif. (27-13).

# Season complete
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